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Undemocratic Brexit Bill gives UK ministers absolute power

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, has warned that a new bill gives UK ministers the "unprecedented" power to replace existing EU laws with "anything they want" without parliamentary oversight.

The Retained EU Law Bill gives ministers until the end of 2023 to either confirm that existing EU laws will continue or replace them with new regulations. The bill affects thousands of laws, and if ministers do not decide on any individual law before the end of the year, then that law will drop off the statute book.

Speaking after the bill’s third reading, Ms Callaghan said there was a "serious risk of creating a legal black hole", leading to people in East Dunbartonshire losing "hard won rights such as those over working time and equal pay, as well as consumer protections".

Concerns have been raised by politicians across Westminster, as well as the British Chamber of Commerce that called for the 2023 deadline to be pushed back to 2026.

Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:

"When we buy a house, pay our taxes, or have our salaries set, there are thousands of laws that protect us. Many of these were originally EU laws. This Tory bill gives UK ministers the absolute power to rip them up, replace them with whatever they want, or do nothing and see them disappear at the end of the year.

"It’s an appalling bill that’s been rushed through, driven by petty anti-Europeanism, and devoid of any common sense.

"It also gives UK ministers the power to change laws in areas under the power of the Scottish Parliament without consulting the relevant Scottish minister or our Scottish Government. Just one further attack on devolution by a UK government that is clearly intent on rowing back the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

"Unfortunately, when I voted with my colleagues last week for an amendment that would have stopped the bill from affecting Scottish legislation in devolved areas, Scottish Tory MPs voted against us.

"I will continue making the case that people in East Dunbartonshire did not consent to this hard-Brexit that is being imposed on us by the Tories in Westminster."

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